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West Hill House B&B

West Hill House B&B

West Hill House B&B occupies nine acres of land in central Vermont. Peter and Susan MacLaren, the current owners, have been managing the business since 2006; however, the property dates back to the 1850s when it originally began as a farmhouse. The establishment features nine guestrooms available for rent year-round. A three-course breakfast is served every morning to all patrons at the bed and breakfast, offering options such as fruit, a type of bread dish, and a dessert. Activities are additionally provided at the property, as several board games, jigsaw puzzles, and movies are supplied for guest use. For those who are hoping to explore the surrounding area, visitors can engage in the outdoor recreation that the Green Mountains and Mad River have to offer.

About

Located in the heart of Vermont, West Hill House B&B occupies an expanse of nine acres. A total of nine guestrooms can be found among two buildings on the premises. The main bed and breakfast building contains eight rooms, plus several common areas, while the event barn, also known as the Handsome Red Barn, contains the other suite. Across the street from the main building is where the barn is situated. "Casual" is how Peter, one of the owners, describes the general nature of the establishment, as he continues to explain that the bed and breakfast "has character in the various renovations" that have been done in the past. Each room is unique in the sense that they are all decorated with a different style, while still reflecting the historical theme that dates back to when it was first built. Amenities such as a private ensuite bathroom with a tub and shower, air conditioning, and a TV are provided in every guestroom, as well as a king or queen-size bed. A phone is also available inside each of the rooms, which guests can use to call the owners if ever needed. 

The Highland Room is Peter's personal favorite of the guestrooms, due to the Scottish heritage that he has and the d├ęcor of the room that reflects that heritage. Most guests have different preferences of which unit they find to be the most accommodating, so the overall popularity of the units is relatively equal among the guestrooms; however, Peter remarks that if there were to be a favorite room based on guest preferences it would be the Wildflower on the second floor. The popularity of this room is presumably due to the view of the maple trees, especially during the fall when the leaves change color. 

Several common areas can be found throughout the bed and breakfast. The sunroom, living room, bar, library, and dining room are places where visitors can lounge at their leisure. The bar offers a selection of Vermont beers, an international selection of wines, and Single Malt Scotch. A pool table and fireplace are located in the library and are open for guest use, in addition to various books located on the shelves. The living room area is also characterized by a stone fireplace. Guests can participate in a variety of on-site activities without having to leave the premises. Board games, jigsaw puzzles, and a collection of movies are a few of the provided things to do at the property. It should also be noted that a small gift shop can be found on-site, which sells items from the bed and breakfast as well as local products from Vermont.

A three-course breakfast is served each morning. The first and mid courses may begin with juice and a type of bread dish or fruit. A dessert is served for the final course, with the options being either a Ben and Jerry's ice cream or a sweet/savory dish. For visitors with dietary restrictions, the owner can accommodate them, as guests are asked about such dietary needs during the booking process. Breakfast is served at 8:30 AM in the summer season, while in the winter it is typically served at around 8:00 AM for the skiers. The owners also give visitors the option for breakfast to be served at 7:15 on weekends in the wintertime for those who are hoping to get an early start to their day. Breakfast is distributed in the dining room, and patrons of every guestroom eat together. Peter believes that this gives their guests a chance to meet the other visitors who are staying at the bed and breakfast.

On the outside of the premises, a covered terrace is available for patrons to sit and lounge. Two gazebos also reside on the grounds and may be considered additional common areas. Gardens surround the barn and house, and four ornamental ponds characterize the acreage. Peter mentions that Canadian geese have occasionally been spotted at the ponds. The general area is relatively rural, though guests can visit the Warren village center about a mile from the property, and a variety of stores, artisans, galleries, and a museum in nearby Waitsfield. The major Sugarbush Ski & Golf Resort is virtually next door to the B&B. Several hiking and biking trails are in close proximity to West Hill House B&B, and Peter comments that a number of visitors are drawn to the area to engage in such outdoor recreation. During the winter, however, skiing tends to be the main attraction.

For those who are searching for nearby places to eat, Peter recommends three restaurants. One restaurant is called Tucker Hill Inn & Restaurant, which is somewhat comparable to a fish pub. The second option is The Pitcher Inn, featuring two restaurants, one of which is elegant, while the other is casual. Finally, Peter also directs guests to Hostel Tevere, a casual restaurant with a bar that offers a wide selection of beers and gins. 

Culture

The Green Mountains are one of the main draws to visitors in the area, as it provides the basis for skiing in the winter, as well as hiking or biking during the summer. Mad River is in close proximity to West Hill House B&B, which is a place where visitors can go kayaking or paddleboarding. According to Peter, one of the owners, paddleboarding lessons are available from a local organization and are usually taught on a lake that is situated on the other side of Warren. Furthermore, another draw for tourism in the area is the golf courses that can be found near the bed and breakfast.

The Handsome Barn, which is conjoined with the bed and breakfast, primarily hosts business meetings and other similar events such as wedding receptions or dinners. A limit of 50 people is enforced for each event that is held at the barn. Peter mentions that they have hosted over 160 weddings since acquiring the property. 

West Hill House B&B is open year-round, with the busiest season lasting from September to October presumably because of the fall foliage. A number of policies are implemented at the bed and breakfast and Peter and Susan ask that guests abide by such guidelines during their stay. One policy is that visitors must be over the age of 12 to stay at West Hill House B&B. Smoking is prohibited on the premises, and finally, pets are not allowed to stay at the establishment; however, the property is home to two of the owners' cats, Tigger and Snowball. Although Peter mentions that they've rarely had a problem with cat allergies, he still tries to be aware of those who may be affected in such ways and puts forth the effort into keeping the building clean of any allergens that the cats may cause. 

Peter and Susan have the goal to make their guests feel "like they're staying with a favorite relative." He explains that they try to interact with patrons often as they strive to create an atmosphere where people feel as though they are "visiting [their] favorite family, and meeting new family at the same time." A guest who had previously stayed at the bed and breakfast commented saying, "The Highland room was cozy and secluded. The guest access to common areas throughout the inn made you feel at home. Susan's morning breakfasts were delicious and ample giving you a good start for your day's activities." A Digital Guide Book is also provided for guests with the intent to inform visitors about the various attractions and places to eat near the property. Patrons can reference this guide throughout their stay as they explore the area. The owners also try to help guests make dinner reservations if ever needed.

One particularly unique aspect of the business is that, according to Peter, they are a "designated green hotel," meaning, they try to follow eco-friendly practices. Examples of their environmental-friendly efforts are that they strive to be completely solar powered, they use solar heating to partially heat the hot water, and they provide EV chargers for guests whose vehicles may require them.

History

Since 2006, Susan and Peter, the current owners, have had ownership of West Hill House B&B. The business itself started as a farmhouse in the 1850s, originally constructed for the Allen family. The family farmed there for multiple generations lasting from 1856 to about 1939. In 2018, Peter and Susan were visited by three daughters of the Allen family, who came and told stories of their mother and showed Peter and Susan a few pictures of their family. 

Peter's wife, Susan, was the one who first had the idea of owning a bed and breakfast, as she and Peter had been entertained by the idea of managing such a business prior to owning West Hill House B&B. Peter believes that their individual skills have helped the business develop, explaining that Susan enjoys cooking for guests, he looks after the back office, maintenance and the like, and they both enjoy interacting with visitors. The owners believe that one of the most fundamental elements of running the bed and breakfast is putting effort into being hospitable to visitors, which both Peter & Susan strive to do for their patrons.

Peter explains that the predecessors expanded the property and virtually doubled the building square footage as they added the ensuite bathrooms and bedrooms and built the event barn across the street. Peter and Susan have been trying to continue renovating the property since the time they gained ownership. The majority of renovations that have taken place while being under the management of the couple have been minor changes, with the biggest change being the completion of the barn's interior. The barn itself was built in 2003 and the upper section of it had been used primarily for storage purposes. They fully insulated the building, converted the upper floors to an apartment style suite with a kitchen and built out the main level to be a year-round event space with heating, air conditioning and its own kitchen. As for future plans, the couple hopes to "keep things interesting for our guests," Peter remarks. 

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Location

1496 West Hill Road
Warren, Vermont 05674
United States

Type

Bed and Breakfast

Owners

Peter and Susan MacLaren

Owned Since
2006
Phone
802-496-7162
Reviews
4.9 (153 Reviews)
4.9/5 153 Reviews
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